Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vitamin K and Its Role in Our Body

Vitamin K and Its Role in Our Body
Vitamin K denotes a group of lipophilic, hydrophobic vitamins that are needed for the posttranslational modification of certain proteins. Chemically they are 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone derivatives.

Vitamin K is fat soluble. It is essential for the synthesis of prothrombin, a compound involved in the clotting of blood. Cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, and liver are especially good sources of vitamin K, although moderate amounts are found in many other vegetables, as well, as in cereals.

Although vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, the body stores very little of it and its stores are rapidly depleted without regular dietary intake. Perhaps, because of its limited ability to store vitamin K, the body recycles it through a process called the vitamin K cycle. The vitamin K cycle allows a small amount of vitamin K to function in the gamma-carboxylation of proteins many times, decreasing the dietary requirement.

The significant symptom of vitamin K deficiency in humans and in animals is the loss of the ability of the blood to clot which is, of course, a dangerous condition that can result in death whenever bleeding from cuts occurs. It is believed that humans ordinarily receive adequate amounts of vitamin K in the diet.
Vitamin K and Its Role in Our Body
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